A local nonprofit that rescues horses in Marana is in need of volunteers and more help as they see an increase in horses being abandoned.

Karuna Horse Rescue is located off Interstate 10 and Twin Peaks. It currently has 23 horses for which it is providing food and shelter. The owner of the rescue, Paul Kratzer says he’s seeing an increase in horses being abandoned.

“There’s a big need…the horse transit system is such that horses are used, and then they’re essentially thrown away, sent to auction and a lot of times they’ll end up with kill buyers and kill buyers try to sell those horses,” Kratzer said. “If they can’t, then they ship them off to slaughter in Canada or Mexico.”

Kratzer says high inflation is a big driver for the increase.

“When the economy starts going down, people can’t afford to feed their horses anymore with the increase in hay prices and stuff like that,” Kratzer said. “On top of that a lot of the rescues have gone under to where they can’t support it anymore.”

Karuna means compassion and action, something he wanted to create with the Karuna Horse Rescue.

Horses at the rescue are provided with food and shelter and enjoy being part of a herd.

One such horse is Fin, a thoroughbred ex-racehorse. Fin came to the rescue with a large hole in the back of his left hip.

“There’s a big problem with the racing industry and a lot of thoroughbreds are discarded and sent to auction, and wind up in kill pens, but he came to us,” Kratzer said. “We took him up to Phoenix to a veterinary surgeon and they wound up removing a stick that was embedded in his hip…ever since he got that taken out, he’s been a different horse that loves to run around and just enjoy life.”

If you’d like to help volunteer or donate to the Karuna Horse Rescue, click here.